Locating a CPC pioneer youth in Japan

    Tokyo, May 4 (Xinhua) – On the wall of the historic Memorial Hall of Waseda University in Tokyo, Japan, there are lines of words excerpted from an article written by Li Daejo in the spring of 1916 by a Chinese student, Li Dajo. Later became a pioneer of the Communist Party of China.

    At a time when China was weakened and taunted by Western powers, Li encouraged Chinese youth to fight for a better future, thereby creating a ray of hope for the Chinese people to build a stronger China.

    In the winter of 1913, Lee graduated from the former Bayang Special School of Law before pursuing his studies in Japan. In September 1914, he formally began studying political economy in Waseda.

    A scanned copy of Lee’s student card, provided by the Chinese alumni association of Waseda, has details including his address, place of birth and other basic information, as well as his enrollment information.

    Fuhiko Kawajiri, a professor at Aichi Prefectural University and an expert at Li Dzhao in Japan, said that there is no evidence that Li had taken the university entrance exam, yet he was not granted admission.

    A book written by Honorary Professor Hikotaro Ando at Waseda includes transcripts of Lee as well as 11 subjects he has studied and his corresponding teacher. “Compared to other Japanese students, Lee Dzaho’s performance was quite good,” Ando commented.

    According to Kawaziri, Lee studied Japanese before moving to Tokyo. After arriving in Japan, he actively studied English at the Young Men’s Christian Association, or YMCA, where he resided.

    In January 1915, during Li’s first year of study at Waseda, the then Japanese Prime Minister Shiganobu Okuma and his cabinet secretly proposed “Twenty-One Demands” against China. Chinese students studying in Japan responded strongly, and Lee also actively joined the protests.

    He refused to take courses taught by Kazutami Ukita, a strong advocate of “Twenty-One Demands” and some other Japanese professors, and published articles criticizing Ukita and others.

    There is a bronze sculpture of Isso Abe under a cherry blossom tree in a library yard in Wasera. Abe was the founder of the university’s baseball team.

    He was also a pioneer who introduced socialism to Japan. Although Lee did not directly take his course, some researchers believed that Abe had a great influence on Lee. Endo believed that Abe’s ideas changed Lee’s thinking towards socialist ideology.

    In February 1916, Lee’s student card was marked with his departure from school, which was due to be covered with a seal that read, “Long Absence Expulsion.”

    In April 1916, Li finished his studies at Japanese universities and returned to China, along with hundreds of Chinese students.

    In 1927, Li sacrificed his young life, becoming one of the first martyrs to spread Marxism in China.


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